Patriotic Alternative wildly exaggerates scale of Indigenous Peoples’ Day campaign

16 08 22

A close look at Patriotic Alternatives’s annual campaign shows continued growth, but on a far less dramatic scale than its leadership claims. Yorkshire and Scotland remain areas of strength, while the group underperforms in the Midlands.

For the last three years, Patriotic Alternative (PA), the UK’s most active fascist group, has held a day of action to coincide with international Indigenous Peoples’ Day (IPD) on 9 August.

PA aims to co-opt the event, which is designed to raise awareness about persecuted indigenous populations around the world, to drive its own racist narrative. The group encourages activists across the country and overseas to engage in banner drops, stickering and art projects using the far-right slogan “White Lives Matter” (WLM). It does so in the hope of rallying supporters, gaining media coverage and creating propaganda for online circulation.

PA’s largest IPD action, atop Dundee Law

Unsurprisingly, PA has announced its IPD 2022 campaign to be an unmitigated success. In an apparent lie, Deputy Leader Laura Towler claimed to have received 555 entries, “almost double” that of the previous year. This is despite her claiming to have received 465 photographs and 23 videos, from 350 activists, in 2021.

However, only roughly 430 pictures and 12 videos, across roughly 300 distinct entries, have been uploaded to PA’s website; 50 of these entries are from overseas. Even those numbers give an inflated picture, however, as many participants feature across several entries.

By our own estimates, 200-240 supporters took part within the UK, compared to 160 the previous year and 100 the year before. There was also a modest uptick of international involvement, suggesting a growing awareness of PA among the international far right.

Whilst this is a concerning degree of growth, it does not necessarily mean that PA has doubled in size in the last two years. Participation in the campaign is not limited to PA’s vetted members, meaning that these numbers indicate the group’s active support, rather than membership as such. PA has also become a more streamlined organisation since 2020, and can more effectively rally supporters for collective action.

In addition, many actions were less ambitious than the previous year. Whilst attention-grabbing stunts were attempted in Glasgow, Dundee and York, most entries were unspectacular, featuring lone supporters scrawling WLM on rocks, in sand, on A4 paper or even on post-it notes. Many did not even leave their own homes. Some entries were recycled from the social media output of previous weeks, and even from last year’s IPD.

Importantly, the event also failed to garner nearly as much press attention as 2021, suggesting that more journalists are taking note of the group’s attempts to exploit the media. IPD remains a key date in the PA calendar, but there are signs that it is yielding diminishing returns.

Below is a breakdown of IPD activities across the UK and overseas.

PA: Unappetising

By Region


PA’s most inflammatory action took place in York, with a team of 12 activists hoisting a large WLM banner on the wall of Clifford Tower, site of one of the UK’s worst antisemitic pogroms. PA claimed they avoided a “mob of 40 Hassidic Jews” when performing the stunt. The group was led by Sam Melia, PA’s Yorkshire organiser and a former member of the now-banned Nazi terror group, National Action. The stunt failed to achieve press coverage, however, aside from local outlets that did not name PA.

The only other group action was a crew of six activists, led by Collett, taking a banner around Wakefield. As many as 30 activists may have participated across the region, up from an estimated 25 last year. 

Mark Collett and PA Yorkshire activists hold a banner in a park in Wakefield


The major Scottish actions took place in central Glasgow, in which a group of 11 activists hung a “WLM” board on famous statues, and in Dundee, when a huge banner was unfurled at the highest point in the city. However, both actions yielded considerably less press coverage than its action atop Ben Nevis in 2021.

Many of the photos uploaded on IPD were taken at unrelated events over previous months, suggesting an effort to inflate activity. We estimate roughly 30 activists took part, against 25 last year.

Perthshire. In far-right terminology, 14 refers to the white supremacist “14 words” slogan, and 88 to “Heil Hitler”

North West and North East

The North West showed the most growth, and currently stands among PA’s most active; its largest action saw eight activists drop a banner over a motorway bridge. In total, roughly 25 contributed, up from 14 last year.

PA’s active support in the North East remains small, producing three group photos, the largest featuring just five activists in South Shields. In total, as many as 15 activists took part, up from eight last year.  

Mixed messaging from PA in Sunderland

East and West Midlands

The Midlands, traditionally an area of strength, underperformed. Roughly 15 activists in the West Mids participated, compared to 13 in 2021, indicating no notable growth; the largest group action was an eight-strong banner drop in Cannock Chase, Staffordshire.

In the East Mids, 12 activists hung a banner from the M1 motorway bridge, otherwise simply writing WLM on stones and leaving them in public places. Roughly 18 participated, compared to perhaps 10 last year.

London and the South East

In London, the same five activists, led by Regional Organiser Nick Hill (AKA Cornelius), lugged one banner to numerous landmarks across the city, including a statue of Nelson Mandela in Waterloo and the Imperial War Museum, home of a permanent Holocaust exhibition. 13 individuals were active in the region, compared to 10 last year.

The South East branch, which has some overlap, achieved just one group action, with three people posing with the same banner used by the London branch. Due to an increase in individual contributions, we estimate as many as 17 activists took part, up from nine last year. 


The Eastern branch is among PA’s best organised, and this year roughly 25 activists engaged in IPD, up from 20. The group’s largest action featured 10 activists posting with flags in Bradwell, Essex; banner drops were also undertaken on a motorway bridge in Hertfordshire.

PA’s Eastern branch in Hertfordshire

South West

In the South West, as many as 20 activists contributed, up from 16 in 2021. However, the biggest event was a four-strong banner drop at Stonehenge, a reduction from a six-activist banner drop last year. Again, there were fewer group actions, with many consisting of solo activists arranging foodstuffs and inanimate objects to read “WLM”.

Wales and Northern Ireland

Again, the crossover between the Welsh PA branch and the fascist hooligans of the Pie & Mash Squad (P&M) was clear, with P&M and WLM stickers posted side-by-side. The largest group action attributed to the Welsh branch actually featured activists from several other branches, taken at a fitness event in Snowdonia over a week prior. Roughly 18 people took part, compared to 10 the previous year. 

Despite PA’s desire to establish a Northern Irish branch, the group only received one entry, a sole activist photographing stones bearing the slogan in County Antrim. 

Joe Marsh (AKA Jeff Butler), a PA activist and football hooligan with at least three convictions for violence

International Involvement

Collett has declared IPD “the biggest ever coordinated day of European pride the world has seen”. However, while there was an increase in international activity compared to last year, engagement overseas remains relatively minor, with participation in most countries consisting of a lone activist. 

Most contributions came from Scandinavia, the large majority from the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM). NRM is a highly antisemitic organisation that, in the words of Expo and the Anti-Defamation League, has “paramilitary and cult-like elements and a strong emphasis on violence” as well as “a long and bloody history of armed attacks on private citizens, minority groups and democratic institutions”.

NRM’s IPD activity was concentrated in Sweden, with banner drops and stickering in at least fourteen locations; two small actions were undertaken in Norway and Denmark apiece, and one in Iceland, an activist stickering what appears to be a public toilet. WLM stickers were also distributed in Kokkola, Finland, a country in which NRM is banned.

Also participating was Rolf Tommy Nilsson, who has stood as a candidate for the far-right party Alternative for Sweden, and previously with the Sweden Democrats. Nilsson has also shown support for NRM.

Rolf Tommy Nilsson

There was no meaningful uptick from American activists. The largest actions came from the “White Lives Matter” group, a loose far-right propaganda network, which performed banner drops in Arizona and California. All others were solo efforts, and unlike last year there was no contribution from David Duke, a long time collaborator with Collett, and among the world’s best-known white supremacists.   

Notably, activists from the neo-Nazi Volksverzet group from the Netherlands and Belgium also posted “White Lives Matter” stickers alongside their “greetings” to PA, which were circulated on PA’s social media channels. The group’s recent activities include a baking session to celebrate Hitler’s birthday.

Volksverzet celebrate Hitler’s birthday

IPD also gained the support of the French white nationalist Daniel Conversano and his organisation, Les Braves. Lone offerings came from Croatia, Iceland, Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Australia, New Zealand and the Canary Islands; again, these “actions” mostly consisted of a sole sticker or hand-written sign.

For more information on PA, read our report below.

Read the full report



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